Pew Research statistics show that 27% of Americans 65 and older live alone. Some seniors choose to live alone and adapt homes to suit their changing needs. But millions have little choice, as they lose friends and family members. The elderly often become isolated, which affects their well-being.
Many Texas seniors move into assisted living communities that allow them to remain as independent as possible but still get needed medical care. Communities also provide essential social opportunities.
There is no one-size-fits-all living solution. If you or an elderly family member are trying to determine the best option, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each. Aging in place and arranging for in-home care is ideal for some people, while others thrive when they move to planned senior communities.
Assisted Living Benefits and Features
Communities that offer assisted living in Kyle, TX, provide housing and memory care services for active seniors who can’t live independently. This type of care combines housing, support services, and health care if needed.
Per the National Institute on Aging, assisted living communities provide help with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating but don’t typically offer ongoing skilled nursing care. Residents are generally offered medication management, housekeeping, meal services, social activities, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADL.) If seniors eventually require more care or want to change their living arrangements, they are free to leave.
Seniors living in a community setting have a chance to make friends and share activities with like-minded others. Even if their social lives are restricted, residents are never isolated or lonely because staff members interact with them constantly.
Homes and communities are designed for safety and accessibility. They include transportation, gyms, and game rooms. Many have movie theaters. Living in a community setting also offers access to 24-7 care while allowing residents to be as independent as they are able.
Home Care Features and Benefits
While millions of older Americans remain at home for life, even the most robust usually need some help as they age. Physical restrictions can make it challenging to clean their homes, run errands, or even manage personal care. Professional at-home caregivers can help by providing assistance tailored to each client’s needs.
In-home care allows seniors to remain in a comfortable, familiar environment and choose their schedules. Many have their homes remodeled to add safety features like grab bars, walk-in showers, and stairlifts. Families who live at a distance from older relatives can arrange for caregivers to visit regularly to evaluate seniors’ health and ability to care for themselves.
In-home care can be the most affordable option for those who need minimal help but it can get expensive if they require 24-7 care. Remaining at home can also become a lonely experience that restricts seniors’ social activities, according to U.S. News Health. If the elderly begin to suffer from cognitive decline, remaining at home may not be safe.
Determining the Best Living Arrangements
Deciding on the best senior living arrangements depends on each person’s circumstances, so it is essential to weigh all the critical factors before choosing. Remaining at home is usually an option for older people who enjoy a good quality of life and want to stay in familiar surroundings. A rule of thumb is that if seniors need more than four or five hours of care each day, assisted living may be the best choice from a financial perspective.
It’s also essential to weigh a senior’s social situation and the chances they will become isolated. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reports that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older say they feel lonely. Almost one-fourth of those 65 and older are considered socially isolated. Social isolation has been linked to anxiety and depression. Isolated seniors are more likely to suffer heart attacks, dementia, and premature death.
Living in a community is safer for the elderly than living alone, even if their homes have been altered for aging-in-place. That is especially true as seniors reach advanced ages and are at risk for falls.
Cost can be a significant factor, too. Limited in-home care is less costly than assisted living communities, but community living makes more financial sense when the elderly need more extensive care. Although senior care is generally an out-of-pocket expense, individuals’ retirement or Social Security benefits may cover all or part of costs. It is vital to compare services and charges carefully.
Most Americans over 65 choose to remain in their homes or move to assisted living communities. Both options have benefits, so families or senior citizens must carefully evaluate each option’s pros and cons.